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Remote Kill Flags Surface In Kindle

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the because-they-can dept.

Media 630

PL/SQL Guy writes "The Kindle has a number of 'remote kill' flags built in to the hardware that, among other things, allow the text-to-speech function to be disabled at any time on a book-by-book basis. 'Beginning yesterday, Random House Publishers began to disable text-to-speech remotely. The TTS function has apparently been remotely disabled in over 40 works so far.' But what no one at Amazon will discuss is what other flags are lurking in the Kindle format: is there a 'read only once' flag? A 'no turning the pages backwards' flag?"

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First post flag! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950671)

There, I said it. Kindle remotely made me do it!

They asked for it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950673)

Well, that's what you get for buying content instead of just copying it from pirate bay or whatever. Maybe it's time for us to finally learn our lesson?

Re:They asked for it (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950737)

Well, that's what you get for buying content instead of just copying it from pirate bay or whatever.

True. Except when that option can get you in more serious trouble than a copyright suit, e.g. losing your job.

Re:They asked for it (3, Insightful)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951013)

True. Except when that option can get you in more serious trouble than a copyright suit, e.g. losing your job.

I fail to see how getting busted on copyright infringement will somehow cause you to lose your job - it's not a felony, so as I understand it, it'd have no bearing with your employer.

Re:They asked for it (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951173)

I fail to see how getting busted on copyright infringement will somehow cause you to lose your job

Two words: company policy.

Re:They asked for it (1)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951199)

Would have to be a rather interesting company. Certainly not one I have ever worked with.

Re:They asked for it (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951295)

It can if you're a retard and are downloading shit at work.

Re:They asked for it (5, Interesting)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951023)

Sure you break copyright law when you download. The problem is people break laws all the time when laws don't work.

I don't smoke marijuana; however, I know plenty of people who do. This situation has existed since before I was born. People, and politicians (they don't count as people), have discussed making marijuana legal. It may never happen in my lifetime. That does not stop people from recognizing bad law.

Copyright is there to protect the artist. I see little artistic protection in copyright law. I see corporate protection. I don't think I am the only one who sees this, hence all the downloads.

People will NOT obey an unjust law. When corporations declare that they sold you a license instead of a product and start turning off access to what the customer paid for...well, you reap what you sow. There are not enough lawyers out there to sue everyone who downloads. Ask the RIAA if you don't believe me.

Besides, downloaded stuff just works better. I hate to tell all those coke-sniffing, mistress pampering executives at all those corporations that their business model sucks donkey-dick, but I have to. Downloads don't pester people with advertisements. They start up immediately. They play the entire content. You can change direction when you want. You can shift the content to other media. Shit! What's not to like? Except that we do cheat the artist. That cannot be denied. We must find a way to support the arts, and dump the middle-man. That middle-man is getting in the way of culture.

Re:They asked for it (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951183)

I mailed a cheque to the Merkin Vinyard in Arizona for the 10,000 Days album I downloaded.

It was never cashed, but I feel good about it anyway.

Re:They asked for it (3, Insightful)

cml4524 (1520403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951211)

You're comparing people who are demanding a proscribed product that they purchase and consume outside the law with people who just don't like how much the product costs or how its distributed. The government denying you access to a good or service you demand is not the same thing as a private company offering a good or service in a way or at a price you don't like.

Furthermore, you have a legitimate means to air your grievances: don't buy. Not only do you send the clear message that you are unhappy with the product or service, you maintain the legal AND moral high ground in the debate.

Your post is labeled insightful. It is not.

Re:They asked for it (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951255)

No shit.

I have not bought a Kindle. This nutter [leasticoulddo.com] thinks that newspapers could "save" by distributing over Kindle instead of on paper.

Guy down later in the forum has it exactly right. You can't put a Kindle in your waiting room. If your "copy" of the paper is on a Kindle, you can't read the sports page while someone else has the world section or the comics. You can't hand "your copy" of the paper to someone else, or leave it behind once you're done with it if it's on a Kindle (something I do regularly - hey, I don't know the next person coming by, but I imagine they might want to read something too).

Hell, if it's on a Kindle, we lose yesterday's newspaper - so how will we wrap today's fish?

In all seriousness, that's the problem with DRM. It's never about "protecting copyright." It's always about some more nefarious purpose, like destroying the doctrine of first sale [wikipedia.org] . Remember how $ony patented a method to have video games "signed" by the first console they were put in, and subsequently refuse to run on any other console? That was just one of them.

Re:They asked for it (4, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951287)

Oh, give me a break. It has little to do with working better and more to do with people not having to pay for stuff and little chance of getting caught or punished. Copyright laws may be flawed, but they are not completely unjust. The people who use things without paying their fair share are the unjust ones...not rebels against an unfair law.

And I find it a bit ironic you trust pirates of all people to deliver you a product free of root kits and trojans.

I don't totally disagree with you, though. We do give the middle man too much and the artist too little. But pirating gives the artist less.

Re:They asked for it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951323)

ex. you're a dumb nigger

Re:They asked for it (1)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951245)

It's time that we lobby our various governments to pass the "Public Library Enhancement Amendment for Spreading information via Everyone".

It's pretty simple. If you have information (books, stories, music, video, etc.) you're encouraged to spread it to everyone. Doing so is considered the polite thing to do, and you should be shielded from lawsuit if you're simply sharing the information.

We need a "sensationalist" tag (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950681)

for when we vote stories down. "Stupid" kinda works, but IMO it's not specific enough.

Re:We need a "sensationalist" tag (2, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950821)

Is it sensationalist? Perhaps.
But are people who struggle to read being hurt by it? Yes.

But I'm sure to 95% of the population "those" people aren't important.

Re:We need a "sensationalist" tag (5, Insightful)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950969)

You don't think that having functionality removed from something you've bought, after the fact, is a problem?

Re:We need a "sensationalist" tag (3, Insightful)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951269)

That's a great point, and really drives to the heart of the problem with this stuff. Someone needs to start suing for misleading advertising, whatever laws cover that.

I'm sure they have a TOS that says they can come by and bang your mom whenever they want, but hopefully the courts will call BS on that.

To be somewhat fair to Amazon (and Apple, and so on) they're not exactly the boogeymen here. Obviously Amazon thinks automated text-to-speech isn't a "performance" and should be included and allowed in all works. But the content owners are saying "disable text to speech or we pull our works". Just like the music labels with DRM.

We know for a fact that the content owner's are serious - they think they have a monopoly, and would rather make their content unavailable than to make it available in the form customers want.

Perhaps Amazon is even sitting back praying that a customer will sue them for disabling/removing text-to-speech so that they can point their finger at a court when telling the publishers "We can't disable text to speech".

Its a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951301)

The Kindle has an awfully big price tag for a piece of hardware that gets defiant, by design, when you try to use one of its primary features.

memento flag (5, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951181)

the memento flag:
      you can only read the chapters once and in reverse order only.

the pulp fiction flag:
    chapter order is randomized

the Bedazzled flag:
    last page is missing in mystery novels

the pat robertson flag:
    all naughty words like "gay" and "damn" are changed to "homo" and "golly"

they also introduced several modes:

leet speak mode:
    so your p4r3nts can't read over your shoulder.

The beevis and bottomhead flag:
      all accidental double entedres are bolded (heh heh).

Ascii art mode

speed reading mode: the words disappear from the page at defined rate.

Controverial undocumented ebonics and hot coffee modes.

Re:memento flag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951257)

The slashdot flag: All typos, slight grammatical errors and inconsistencies are highlighted and placed in size 36, bold.

Re:We need a "sensationalist" tag (5, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951251)

Do we need a "sensationalist" tag? Is CmdrTaco abusing his power as editor? What's stopping him from using these powers to spy on your Slashdot viewing habits? Will he kill your family and steal your very soul through your nose? And what about his wife? Why don't we ever hear about her? What's she got to hide?

All very suspicious. Terrifying, you might say...

tags are in the books (2, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950687)

Unless they upload a replacement, the book would have to have all the possible tags attached. I'm assuming the books are on the device itself. Obviously, I don't know enough about the Kindle2.

Re:tags are in the books (3, Insightful)

wstrucke (876891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950823)

This is a law suit waiting to happen if there is no disclosure that the books will have these "flags" at the time of purchase.

Re:tags are in the books (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950971)

This is a law suit waiting to happen if there is no disclosure that the books will have these "flags" at the time of purchase.

Big fucking deal. If history is any guide, the affected consumers will get a credit for $0.99 off their next purchase from Amazon while the law firm who initiated the lawsuit will walk away with millions. Amazon will just write it off as a cost of doing business and go right on screwing their customers, albeit this time with a disclaimer about the DRM flags clearly displayed in a 2pt font.

Call me cynical.....

Re:tags are in the books (5, Funny)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951075)

You sound like an optimist to me

Re:tags are in the books (-1, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951077)

Bingo.

On of these days I'll get mod points ... I just know it.

Re:tags are in the books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951097)

well, in the case of a class action that might be true. the law firm will spend thousands of hours bringing the case to fruition. the average consumer will have spent $8 on an ebook. that sounds proportional to me. if it wasn't profitable for the law firms to bring class action lawsuits there wouldn't be any.

Re:tags are in the books (1)

JackARot (1554025) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951193)

If history is any guide, the affected consumers will get a credit for $0.99 off their next purchase from Amazon while the law firm who initiated the lawsuit will walk away with millions.

Considering in most of these big class actions that the law firms invest probably millions of dollars in the case it's only fair that they get equitably compensated.

Re:tags are in the books (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951265)

If you don't like how class action lawsuits work then don't take part, pay your own lawyers (or represent yourself) in your own case against the other party - and reap all the reward yourself. Oh, and take all the risk yourself too - people seem to conveniently forget that the 'class' in a 'class action' rarely take any of the risk of the lawsuit onboard themselves, while their lawyers do.

Re:tags are in the books (2, Funny)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951375)

Yes. Great point.

If you have something against class action lawsuits or "ambulance
chasers" then feel free to have this stuff litigated on your own
dime. You will be paying something on the order of $200/hr - $500/hr
minimum and there will be lots of labor involved.

Re:tags are in the books (4, Insightful)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951339)

AFAIK Amazon clearly wants to have text-to-speech enabled for all books. It's the publishers (and their threat to remove works if speech is enabled) you should be mad at. Amazon is trying their damnedest to make a compelling ebook product, and like Apple with iTunes, trying to drag the publisher's kicking and screaming onto the internet.

Like music, I expect once the market is there, people will demand the functionality (or pirate for it, or sue for it) and it will become commonplace.

If Amazon took a high and mighty moral stand, they would just be killing the market (and their own business opportunity) and letting another eBook maker who WILL compromise their morals take over the market.

At least we know Amazon is trying to open things up as much as they can.

Re:tags are in the books (2, Insightful)

dfay (75405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950987)

Don't worry, I'm sure there is something about it buried in the 20 page license agreement.

Re:tags are in the books (4, Informative)

sciencewhiz (448595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951167)

Do you really think Amazon would be that stupid? Once again, a sensationalist story is posted without proper fact checking. From the Kindle DX Product Page [amazon.com]

Kindle DX can read to you. With its Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle DX can read books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable.

Flags (4, Insightful)

captainboogerhead (228216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950697)

Sometimes I wish Slashdot had a "baseless speculation" flag.

Re:Flags (5, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950789)

Clearly you're new here - the "baseless speculation" bit is implicitly set on all stories.

The Flag That Cannot Be Named (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950699)

But what no one at Amazon will discuss is what other flags are lurking in the Kindle format: is there a "read only once" flag?

No. But there inside your home on your desk inside your kindle is a flag so vile, so full of hatred, so very <insert your opposing political party here> that when activated it will only let you read books from Oprah's Book Club.

Hey, it's me pot! Over here with kettle! (5, Funny)

its_schwim (1247278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950701)

Kindle: The iPhone of readers. Proprietary schemes rock.

Re:Hey, it's me pot! Over here with kettle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950943)

Since you can get Kindle software for iPhone, wouldn't the iPhone be the iPhone of readers?

TFA About Reading-Disabled Students (5, Insightful)

ancarett (221103) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950717)

The article doesn't talk about the Kindle's other technological back doors at all, so colour me disappointed.

Still, as a parent of an autistic child, I know how valuable the TTS function can be in our computer programs. As an author, I'm saddened that Amazon's rolled over on this for the publishers' and Author's Guild panic. TTS is not the same as an audiobook performance, nor does it have that possibility any time soon.

Re:TFA About Reading-Disabled Students (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951299)

Considering that some audio books aren't read well, perhaps there is real merit in the publishers fearing the TTS function. I'm not a reader of audio books, but I do have an anecdotal piece [anythingbutipod.com] to offer as a reference.

The scenario I see happening is that good audiobook readers will ask for more money, and publishers will dump them in favor of poor readers that charge less. And in such a situation where few to none of the audiobooks are read by good readers, I definitely see TTS as rivaling the publishers.

Now I'm not saying this is justification for their actions, but it does explain why they're so threatened by the TTS feature.

No Turning back? (1)

itsvishal (1552677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950719)

Read and Memorize. This page will self-destruct as soon as you turn it. *beep*

Re:No Turning back? (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951087)

Reminds me of Fahrenheit 451.

Remote kill or flag change? (5, Interesting)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950753)

TFA is very unclear on whether
  • the book binaries have changed, so that the new ones have the flag turned on - but if you already have an existing binary in your Kindle it will work fine; or
  • the Kindle looks for updates to existing book binaries, and applies them automatically

I think the first is more likely - although the second could be useful in other ways (the Kindle could automatically correct errors in books as they are found).

Re:Remote kill or flag change? (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950855)

(the Kindle could automatically correct errors in books as they are found).

Yeah, especially the inconvenient ones in history books.

Re:Remote kill or flag change? (3, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950925)

The book file has to be redownloaded. But you can take all of your book files and archive them to a computer before turning on the cell connection, just in case.

If book publishers start acting like software publishers, you can always just skip to pirating the books, this doesn't affect user added files(with or without paying, depending on the color of your hat).

forget it (5, Insightful)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950755)

I pre-ordered a Kindle DX. Thanks to the information in this article I have changed my mind and I'm now canceling my order. I would be stupid to pay $500 for a device that can be remotely crippled, when cheaper ebook readers give me full control. What was I thinking?

Re:forget it (5, Informative)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950835)

What you really want is a tablet PC running Linux if you are concerned about DRM. Any product where you don't have control over the operating system or environment will always be suspect to the whims of corporate lawyers.

Re:forget it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950909)

Care to name such a device that isn't prehistoric tech, for the same price point? No? Though so.

Re:forget it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950937)

Here we go again. Tablet PC's have back-lit screens.

I don't know about you, but I cannot handle reading a book on a back-lit screen. Ever.

Re:forget it (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951039)

No, what I really want is the Kindle without kill switches, but thanks for shoving your pet OS down our throats.

Re:forget it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951361)

Hear, hear.

In general, I'm getting more and more fed up with people telling me "What you want is...". It sounds unbelievably arrogant and, at this point, is an excellent way to get me to not listen to you.

Re:forget it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951239)

That's a terrible suggestion.
eBook Reader: $200-$500
Tablet PC: $1000+ and time to install/configure OS and software

Just do a little research on the readers and find one that's not crippled with DRM and internet connectivity.

Re:forget it (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950887)

This convinces me that I will no longer purchase Random House titles in any form. I will have to consider how it affects my use of Amazon.

Re:forget it (2, Interesting)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950953)

I'm curious what other ebook readers you're looking at. So far, I've used a Foxit eBook reader, Sony PRS-700, kindle, iPhone and various computers.

The Foxit totally sucks. It's got a nice formfactor, but it's slow and difficult to read PDFs without having the text get wrapped and lose all spacing (sometimeswordsgetjumbledtogetherlikethis).

The Sony reader is pretty good except that the glare totally sucks and when reading PDFs, it's only got pre-set zoom levels; no fit-to-width, so the text is constantly either too small or it's the right size, but wraps all over the place.

I was waiting for the PlasticLogic to come out (something like mid 2010, last I heard). It's a good size, so PDFs will render well and it seems fast and very sturdy.

I haven't had a chance to check out any ePub books, yet, but I've heard good things. The only problem is that Amazon has a HUGE selection of eBooks for the kindle and ePub doesn't have that many commercial books; at least, I was only able to find 1 book I wanted in ePub format and 2 or 3 in PDF format.

Considering that books from O'Reilly, Pragmatic Programmers and other tech publishers are available only in PDF (since the kindle format doesn't support fonts for code snippets), I feel like the new KindleDX is the perfect solution--not only does it allow me to buy the most widely available eBook format but it also allows me to read PDFs on an acceptably large screen.

I tried to hold off, but I HAD to preorder the KindleDX... I'm a little concerned that it's not gonna be as good as I hope, but I think it'll be a good purchase in the longrun. I really hope that amazon/publishers come to their senses and stop with this garbage of disabling TTS or other features.

Re:forget it (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951021)

I really hope that amazon/publishers come to their senses and stop with this garbage of disabling TTS or other features.

Don't worry; it'll be jail-broken in no time flat. ;-)

^=Smoodge=^

Re:forget it (1)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951089)

Probably one of the Astak readers. A large format model [productwiki.com] is due to be released later this year.

Re:forget it (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951133)

Sony 505 is fine with PDF as long as you set the screen to half page mode, ie turn it on its side. If you are trying to read a dual column book don't bother with it because you are going to be jumping up and down constantly, the Sony 700 is faster so it may be better

Re:forget it (1)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951147)

Here's a review [mobileread.com] of the current Astak model with links for more information. This device appears to display PDF files adequately.

Re:forget it (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951065)

What you were thinking is how cool the Kindles is, and it IS cool. Shame about the kill switches.

Re:forget it (2, Informative)

sciencewhiz (448595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951203)

The "crippling" was disclosed on the product page. Did you not read it before spending $500 on it? From the Kindle DX Product Page [amazon.com]

Kindle DX can read to you. With its Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle DX can read books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable.

Killflags... (4, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950765)

...and they are internet capable? I'm going to laugh my ass off when some hacker reduces every ebook on every Kindle in the world to a useless pile of bits.

Re:Killflags... (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951025)

Yes, and I hope one does, and soon. People need to know the risk of all these kill switches everything is getting.Better the learn it now when it only impacts a relatively few people.

Re:Killflags... (1)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951113)

Somehow I wouldn't be surprised... Amazon would certainly have some backpedaling to do then.

As much as I'd feel bad for all my friends with Kindles, I probably would chuckle quietly to myself as well.

As my wife says, "Fuck 'em." (5, Interesting)

Tony (765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950775)

I was going to get my wife a Kindle for her birthday. She asked, "What's the point? The books are almost as expensive, and I can't send them to my mom or sister when I'm done. And what happens when the hardware breaks, and I need to get a new one? I don't want to be forced to get a Kindle just because those are the books I bought before. Fuck 'em."

My wife, the non-geek. She gets it.

Re:As my wife says, "Fuck 'em." (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950917)

Yeah, and she's a real turn-on!

So, how the marriage working out? Separation on the horizon by any chance?

Re:As my wife says, "Fuck 'em." (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951055)

Don't use amazon as your book source use TPB, it has a rather nice selection

Re:As my wife says, "Fuck 'em." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951125)

Heh, your wife sounds classy

Re:As I said to your wife, "Fuck me." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951139)

Sorry, dude, she just sounds like a total bitch.

-Dan East

Re:As my wife says, "Fuck 'em." (1)

Xadnem (1120075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951189)

Ditto. I was so surprised my wife didn't want one, not even when I tried selling her on Sony's model instead. Now I'm at a loss what to get her. Maybe a netbook instead.

I'm done with Amazon (5, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950779)

I was a customer for over ten years. Spent well over ten thousand dollars there in books and other items. But for the last several years their customer support has declined, their partner businesses engage in numerous disreputable practices that mirror the abuses at ebay, their manipulation of book rankings on so-called adult material (gay), and they seem intent on monopolizing the epublishing trade. I closed my account and won't look back.

Yes, the Kindle-DX looks like a nice machine. But what one gives up in basic rights as a reader is more than enough to keep me buying used books printed on dead trees for some time. And I can always scan the books I buy to load on an ereader with less virulent DRM limitations and corporate controls. I own an iRex iLiad, that while not the best manufacturer, at least they offer a free Linux development environment to download and install. Users are hacking new software on that platform. Does anyone here expect Amazon to allow that? Not me.

BTW: closing my account with Amazon took several phone calls and numerous transfers from one department to the next. They don't like it when customers attempt to leave them and make the process as difficult as possible. Yet another reason to never give them my money again.

Re:I'm done with Amazon (4, Funny)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950949)

BTW: closing my account with Amazon took several phone calls and numerous transfers from one department to the next. They don't like it when customers attempt to leave them and make the process as difficult as possible.

Sounds like canceling an AOL account in the '90s.

Re:I'm done with Amazon (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951355)

what is the point of closing your account? just don't buy anything ever again from them.

Glad I'm sticking with dead-tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950783)

NT

I have remote flags also... (4, Insightful)

blcamp (211756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950803)

...such as the "don't buy anything I can't substantially control" flag.

KIll Flag? (1)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950843)

How exactly is this a kill-flag? The headline is misleading as the remote switch does not actually kill the device itself but disables a software feature.

Re:KIll Flag? (1)

dsginter (104154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950935)

Or maybe this guy [bash.org] now works for Amazon?!

Is there a "money back" flag? (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950849)

Unless (and even if) this is made clear to the consumer before they bye the product, I'm sure that there would be a good case of "defective product", which would mean, money back.

Of course, you don't get to keep your "Kindle", but you do get to keep your sanity.

---

I expect the following to start happening sooner or later:
* Someone write make a "Kindle emulator";
* Someone will pass out "hardware security bypass" designs (modding)

Oh, and I also expect a law suit sooner or later.

Re:Is there a "money back" flag? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951195)

"Use of this advanced computing technology does not imply an endorsement of Western industrial civilization.

Is sure does, whether you like it or not.
And why Western Industrial civilization? that makes no damn sense. Is it some sort of false dichotomy between western and eastern? You could move to one of many back water disease d parts of the world and not have to worry at all about civilization'.

Off Topic: Re:Is there a "money back" flag? (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951333)

No it doesn't. That's like saying, "getting a job to stay alive is an endorcement of US capitalism, even though the only other options are starving or illegal activity (which can result in very nasty side affects)".

As for the quote, it's from the Unix fortune cookie program. Do a search, you can find it in lots of places.

The point is though, that just because I use tech, doesn't mean I support or endorse capitalism, the state, or any other damn thing associated with the production of the tech. Sure, maybe the "Western" should be dropped. I'll take that into consideration.

If you want to discuss this further, feel free to head over to RevLeft [revleft.com] , make an account, and start a thread (in the Opposing Ideologies section at a guess, unless you are a leftist of some sort). Oh, that's a referrer link, I don't get anything from that except knowing how many people signed up because of it. If you really don't like it, just remove it. (I only mention that 'cause some person got uppity once.)

Progress Continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950885)

This is just like when they invented books that can be remotely spontaneously combusted.

Solution (3, Funny)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27950929)

Buy a real book and then have it read to you by your girlfr... oh, wait, this is Slashdot. Ignore me :)

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951157)

Buy a real book and then have it read to you by your girlfr... oh, wait, this is Slashdot. Ignore me :)

Lol! You know there are imposters here - the ones who claim they have girlfriends or say they're married. They need their Slashdot membership revoked and to be banned from the site! :-)

None of those imposters probably know how to even code a 'hello world' program let alone know what Linux is! :-)

Re:Solution (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951165)

Are you the Grand Galactic Inquisitor?
Have you traveled from an incredibly distant star to observe the ways of our planet?

A "no turning the pages backwards" flag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950931)

A "no turning the pages backwards" flag?

That would be for all those Choose Your Own Adventure cheaters.

Is it in the documentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27950999)

Does it say they can do this anywhere on the box or on the ordering information? if not start a class action lawsuit. In the corporate world, this is how you fight.

For the doubters (1)

Nakor BlueRider (1504491) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951019)

Did a little poking around and found this is in fact true (at least basically so). Here's a listing with "Text-to-Speech: Not enabled" marked on it, and the drop down explanation being "The publisher has requested not to enable Text-to-Speech for this title."

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001ANURFO/ [amazon.com]

Lawsuit? (5, Interesting)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951053)

Can't one of those Blind Advocacy groups sue them for discrimination?

Re:Lawsuit? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951103)

Can't one of those Blind Advocacy groups sue them for discrimination?

They would if they could see the article.

Random house (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951115)

Don't forget to direct your ire at Random House for doing this as well as Amazon for rolling over.

Call them and bitch.
http://www.randomhouse.com/about/contact.html [randomhouse.com]

And that's why my Kindle's flag... (3, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951129)

And that's why my Kindle's flag will be a Jolly Roger.

You Don't Own MY Works. (5, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951163)

This is my post. I wrote it. Is is a creative and inventive work which benefits society at large. Moreover, it is a concrete example of intellectual property. This post, that you are reading right now, belongs to me. It is mine.

This post is mine in the same way that my house, or car or clothes are mine. These words that I have written are given as much protection as freedom of speech or to vote. They need it. If just anyone is allowed to come along and copy them, or alter them, or include them in another work without my permission, then it will be as though my right to speak freely has been taken away, or I have been disenfranchised.

If someone else reads these words without paying me, or worse sells them to others to read, I will have been robbed. It will be as if my home was burned down, or my family sold into slavery. An injustice of the highest order.

These words need protections. Strong protections. This post needs to be defended, even as it is copied endless and effortlessly across millions of computers, each recopying it hundreds of times, at negligible expense. The worth of these words is worth more than all the bits it occupies in cyberspace. Indeed, their worth is worth more than the worth of cyberspace, and even society itself.

For if these words, if this post cannot be afforded the most stringent, uncompromising and sacred protection that our society has to offer, then our society will not be worth the bits it is represented on. The reality of digital worldwide transmission must not be allowed to compromise the most fundamental rights we have. The protection of this post is a challenge which our civilization must meet, or else our civilization must fall.

This post and all related materials, Copyright © ObsessiveMathsFreak 2009.

All rights reserved, worldwide.

None of the materials provided in this post site may be used, reproduced or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or the use of any information storage and retrieval system, without express permission in writing from the author, along with suitable monetary compensation.

Unauthorized use of the materials in this post are subject to prosecution to the fullest exent allowable by law.

Re:You Don't Own MY Works. (0, Offtopic)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951321)

This is my post. I wrote it. Is is a creative and inventive work which benefits society at large. Moreover, it is a concrete example of intellectual property. This post, that you are reading right now, belongs to me. It is mine.

This post is mine in the same way that my house, or car or clothes are mine. These words that I have written are given as much protection as freedom of speech or to vote. They need it. If just anyone is allowed to come along and copy them, or alter them, or include them in another work without my permission, then it will be as though my right to speak freely has been taken away, or I have been disenfranchised.

If someone else reads these words without paying me, or worse sells them to others to read, I will have been robbed. It will be as if my home was burned down, or my family sold into slavery. An injustice of the highest order.

These words need protections. Strong protections. This post needs to be defended, even as it is copied endless and effortlessly across millions of computers, each recopying it hundreds of times, at negligible expense. The worth of these words is worth more than all the bits it occupies in cyberspace. Indeed, their worth is worth more than the worth of cyberspace, and even society itself.

For if these words, if this post cannot be afforded the most stringent, uncompromising and sacred protection that our society has to offer, then our society will not be worth the bits it is represented on. The reality of digital worldwide transmission must not be allowed to compromise the most fundamental rights we have. The protection of this post is a challenge which our civilization must meet, or else our civilization must fall.

This post and all related materials, Copyright © ObsessiveMathsFreak 2009.

All rights reserved, worldwide.

None of the materials provided in this post site may be used, reproduced or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or the use of any information storage and retrieval system, without express permission in writing from the author, along with suitable monetary compensation.

Unauthorized use of the materials in this post are subject to prosecution to the fullest exent allowable by law.

So sue me...

Dear Random House Publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951169)

If you won't sell me an electronic book on the same terms as your paper books (e.g., I can read them aloud if I want to, with or without mechanical assistance), then the only money you're going to get is from me buying used books.

Which is to say: nothing, because you already got your money from the initial purchaser.

Can we get a white flag? (2, Funny)

Tsaot (859424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951215)

Can we get a White Flag? One that just allows us to surrender? How about a bloody pirate flag? One that shoots cannons at the other flags. I would like at least one device not try to screw me over. (Full Disclosure, I own a Kindle 2.)

You might as well buy it... (2, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951231)

...Some clever little bastard will have hacked it by the time they process your order anyway.

May wallet has a "flag" too... (0)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951311)

...it's called the "do not buy flag". Screw you Amazon. Learn the hard way suckers.

Will it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27951331)

So, how soon until Linux is running on the thing?

PDF as solution? (2, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27951337)

I'm interested in the DX because of its native PDF reader, and nothing else. I probably would never buy a book from Amazon to read on it, because everything I want I can get as a PDF, whether it be something technical or literature.

Because of this, theoretically, I'd be immune to these issues, right? They're my own, drm-free PDFs which can't be remotely deleted or somehow blocked.

I like the *idea* of the Kindle in that I can carry millions of pages of whatever on a very light device with a good screen. I was trying out my mom's Kindle and I was shocked at how much I *really* liked it; the screen was really great and, while I didn't care for the slow page redraws, it wouldn't be a deal-breaker. Thus I like the DX idea even more; bigger screen, and drm-free content.

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